|Member of Parliament|
28 June 2007 – 12 June 2010
|Minister of Economy|
20 July 2004 – 21 December 2007
|Minister of Development Cooperation|
12 July 2003 – 19 July 2004
|Minister of Justice|
12 July 1999 – 11 July 2003
|Born||21 September 1952|
|Political party||Open VLD|
|Alma mater||Vrije Universiteit Brussel and University of Ghent|
A member of the Flemish Liberals and Democrats (VLD), he was elected to the Belgian Chamber of Representatives in 1991 and 1995, and in 1999, to the Belgian Senate. In the Chamber he served as chairman of the Justice committee, and headed two special investigative committees into the events surrounding Marc Dutroux.
He served as Justice minister from 1999 to 2003, as Development co-operation minister 2003–2004, and then as Minister of Economy (fully: Economy, Small and Medium Enterprises, the Middle Classes, Energy, Overseas Trade and Science) from 2004.
He was elected as a member of the Belgian Senate in 2007.
- 2010 : Grand Officer in the Order of Leopold.
- "Belgische Senaat" (in Dutch). Belgian Senate. Retrieved 10 June 2009.